Texting has become a commonality of my teenager’s generation. We had pagers and land-lines, but our teens have non-stop access to the Internet and each other via smartphones. Since my teen purchased her own iPhone I have found many reasons why I feel I need to limit her texting time. Therefore here are 5 Reason To Limit Your Teens Texting Time.
1. Teens Texting Shortcuts
Texting has become a very shortened version of the English Language. Why? Typing out full sentences on a tiny phone is time consuming (see Reason #4)! There are no longer complete sentences and proper punctuation being used while texting. In fact, my teen jokes about how I still text in complete sentences. In place of phrases, they now have acronyms for everything. Things like TTYL (Talk To You Later), IKR (I Know Right), IDK I Don’t Know, and HBU (How About You)!
2. Difficulty Portraying Complete Thoughts
As if it isn’t already difficult typing out your stories, information, questions and more, try portraying whole thought with HBU and IDK! Our teens don’t have real conversations via text. Instead the extent of texting only scratches the surface of basic human conversation. If they only relate via text they get to know very little about the other person and what their real thoughts and feelings are because it would take way to much to try and type all of that via text (as well as not being able to portray emotions effectively – see Reason 3)
3. Emoticons are No Substitute for Real Emotions
Emoticons can not accurately portray real emotions. Genuine concern, empathy, sorrow, scorn and more cannot be truly transmitted with a round yellow face. How can you hurt with a friend whose heart is broken, or express your deep regret and remorse over something you did to upset someone? Only in the sound of your voice (and even the looks on your face, and the posture of your body) that contains so many inflections and tones can you wholly express yourself. If all you have is black and white text with some yellow faces it is impossible to wholly know someone and to completely express yourself to others.
4. Texting is Time Consuming
The simple act of texting on those tiny buttons is a chore all by itself, making any sort of extended conversation a long and tedious task. Thus the invention of all those short cuts I mentioned in Reason #1!
For extended conversations and detailed information, texting becomes time consuming and inefficient as a means of communication. Working out schedules, coordinating rides, telling the tale of some new skill you gained or new boy/girl you like and making plans amongst many parties can often be more easily accomplished in a phone or face to face conversation.
5. Texting Cuts Them Off From Relationships Around Them
If your teen often has their attention focused on the frequent one liner, acronym texting then they don’t have their attention on the people right in front of them. They miss out on the many wonderful relationships to be built and treasured right in their own immediate space.
I don’t say all this to tell you texting is bad because I don’t believe it is. Texting is a convenient way to tell someone you have arrived, to let someone know you are ready to be picked up, to convey a quick thought or small bit of information, and to let someone know something when they are unable to answer the phone. While I feel texting has a time and a place, I do believe there should be limits. It is not a substitute for voice or face to face conversations, nor can it be the basis of a strong, depth filled, solid relationship. So yes, given its proper place texting can add convenience to your life, but like most things in my life, texting should be used in moderation.
Also check out my post on 5 Ways To Limit Your Teens Texting Time.